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Promoting healthy beverages

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UC is committed to continually improving staff wellness through a partnership between UC Systemwide Human Resources and the Healthy Campus Network.

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Its newest program is the Healthy Beverage Initiative (HBI), which was piloted by UCSF beginning in November 2015. Through the HBI, the campus successfully removed the sale of all sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)  from campus vending machines.

The UCSF results since implementing the HBI have been dramatically positive. Staff who volunteered for a 10-month study during the elimination of SSB sales displayed nearly a 50% reduction in overall SSB consumption and a significant loss of belly fat, as well as lower cholesterol and an improvement in insulin resistance. A recent Forbes article even celebrated their progress.

Starting this year, nine UC campuses have signed on to the HBI. In addition to replacing SSBs in vending machines with healthier choices, they will offer plentiful filtered water stations for students, faculty and staff to access at no charge. The 10th, UC Merced, hopes to join in 2020.

“We’re excited to see environmental support for wellness also starting to be introduced through the HBI,” says Stacey Brezing, director of the UC Davis Staff and Faculty Well-Being Program. 

Brezing is managing the program’s implementation at UC Davis, and is eager to share that this project will offer an opportunity for collaboration. She and her colleagues have initiated a partnership with a marketing and communications class. Students will engage in a semester-long messaging campaign around the health benefits of avoiding SSBs and drinking water.

Read more about UCSF’s experience with the Healthy Beverage Initiative.

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